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EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'

evansakes 23 Mar 11 - 09:08 AM
DMcG 23 Mar 11 - 10:17 AM
Desert Dancer 23 Mar 11 - 11:02 AM
Desert Dancer 23 Mar 11 - 11:04 AM
evansakes 23 Mar 11 - 11:28 AM
GUEST 24 Mar 11 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,cardboard cutout 25 Mar 11 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 25 Mar 11 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Mar 11 - 06:00 AM
bradfordian 25 Mar 11 - 06:36 AM
evansakes 25 Mar 11 - 08:34 AM
SteveMansfield 25 Mar 11 - 09:28 AM
Brian Peters 25 Mar 11 - 10:28 AM
kendall 25 Mar 11 - 10:34 AM
evansakes 25 Mar 11 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,JM 25 Mar 11 - 05:51 PM
ChrisJBrady 25 Mar 11 - 08:27 PM
johnadams 26 Mar 11 - 07:41 AM
Brian Peters 26 Mar 11 - 08:13 AM
Smedley 26 Mar 11 - 12:02 PM
SteveMansfield 26 Mar 11 - 12:24 PM
Desert Dancer 26 Mar 11 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,cardboard cutout 26 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Mar 11 - 01:48 PM
Brian Peters 26 Mar 11 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 27 Mar 11 - 08:22 AM
Brian Peters 27 Mar 11 - 09:28 AM
GUEST 27 Mar 11 - 09:30 AM
Bonzo3legs 27 Mar 11 - 10:03 AM
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Subject: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: evansakes
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 09:08 AM

That's Cecil Sharp in case you were wondering.

Their words not mine! Two concerts at Cecil Sharp House this coming weekend...

Here's the Link with further information and how to get tickets. Apparently there are plenty of seats unsold.

The concert reportoire is currently in the process of being compiled and arranged by the 'Cecil Sharp Project' musicians.

More information at http://www.cecilsharpproject.com/

and you can see the musicians at work on this short film taken by Jim Moray


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 10:17 AM

I'll sing them a ballad they can't refuse?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 11:02 AM

The Cecil Sharp Project at Spiral Earth.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 11:04 AM

Twickfolk's other thread on the topic


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: evansakes
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 11:28 AM

Further info and photos on the Shrewsbury Folk Festival blog


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 12:38 PM

First 'Cecil Sharp Project'concert takes place in Shrewsbury tonight. Sequels (Godfather 2 and 3) will be in London on Saturday and Sunday.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: GUEST,cardboard cutout
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 04:56 AM

Saw the show in Shrewsbury last night, it was brilliant! Without revealing any 'spoilers' for those who see it in London this weekend, or at Shrewsbury Folk Festival in the summer, the English and Appalachian strands were fanastically merged.

Great congatulations to Shrewsbury FF for commissioning, selecting participants and facilitating it. The 8 artists involved appear to have collaborated very productively in the short few days they have been working together.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:31 AM

Article on the project, written by Colin Irwin, in today's Guardian (Friday 25 march).
Derek


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 06:00 AM

Love Steve's blue guitar case.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: bradfordian
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 06:36 AM

From Thursday 24th

Cecil Sharp


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: evansakes
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:34 AM

Interesting to read Colin Irwin's Guardian article (linked above)

Is he really a man of mystery ?

A folk hero.....or villain ? Arch-manipulator even?

Did he really largely ignore contributions from black singers when he travelled around the Appalacians?

Does the "Godfather of Folk" label have much validity ?

Other questions spring to mind...

Why has this project been greeted with such a deafening silence in certain quarters ? Apparently "essential" folk and roots music publications have ignored it to all intents and purposes. This article has been commissioned by the comparatively non-essential folk and roots publication (The Guardian).

Is the life and work of Cecil Sharp really so unmimportant?

Is it because newly composed songs might be involved? Or the fact that well known and celebrated singer-songwriters are key participants? Especially that one of them is American :-)

Or are there other 'political' factors and obligations at play ? Perhaps rivalries, jealousies and loyalties of some kind related to the fact Shrewsbury Folk Festival gave birth to the project?

Even the EFDSS don't seem (until the last few days anyway) to have been making too much of a meal about it....yet the organisation's HQ bears Sharp's name.

Maybe some of these questions will be answered in the concerts tomorrow and Sunday.

Incidentally, BBC Radio 3 will be devoting an hour of tonight's 'In Tune' programme to the project. Interviews and songs from 6pm...


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 09:28 AM

Well, TwickFolk, as an EFDSS member I've known about this project for some time, so if the 'EFDSS haven't been making too much of a thing of it' they certainly managed to make enough noise for me to be aware of it well before they entered the house.

And until the songs are actually written and performed there's nothing really concrete to publicise, really, is there - so maybe the concerts this weekend, and then the performances at Shrewsbury in August, and then the subsequent CD release, will all be more tangible hooks to hang more widespread publicity exposure on.

I'm looking forward to hearing it and think it's an interesting mix of characters and talents.

Thanks for the heads-up on 'In Tune', hopefully we'll hear some stuff in there.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 10:28 AM

"Is he really a man of mystery ?"

In the sense that there has been much speculation about his motives, maybe to some extent.

"A folk hero.....or villain ? Arch-manipulator even?"

I think Jim Moray in the article had it about right. Here was a man with a passion that could appear blinkered. But blinkers keep the horse in a straight line, and in Sharp's case a narrow focus brought priceless results. Sharps' ideas about presenting the material haven't stood the test of time, but his material has. He may have been manipulative on a personal level, but I don't think he was an evil megalomaniac by any means.

"Did he really largely ignore contributions from black singers when he travelled around the Appalacians?"

Yes he did. Mostly because he was on a hunt for 'English' songs and didn't believe that black singers would supply him with any - a misconception, as Sharp himself must have begun to realise when he heard Aunt Maria Tomes sing 'Barbara Allen'.

"Does the "Godfather of Folk" label have much validity ?"

Only as a soundbite.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: kendall
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 10:34 AM

Let's ask Allen Lomax.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: evansakes
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 11:51 AM

I'm pleased to hear the internal EFDSS grapevine is functioning well and that members have been kept informed about the project.

There's been little advance publicity elsewhere though. I'm not a member but I am on their mailing list and get various press releases this way. Unless i'm much mistaken the first one I received on this project was two or three days ago.

There's a bimonthly magazine 'Folk London' which gets sold in venues all over the Home Counties. All the best clubs and venues advertise their events in there. The Feb/Mar edition contains no mention of this project (except for a listing with no explanation). There's no advert for anything at Cecil Sharp House in fact (apart for one for Sharp's Tuesday Night Folk Club).


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: GUEST,JM
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 05:51 PM

Hi,

To clear up a few points, the folk publications aren't ignoring the project - Jo Frost from Songlines stayed with us in the farmhouse for a few nights for a feature, and we are being interviewed for an fRoots feature in the morning. Bright Young Folk and Spiral Earth have both filmed a series of video interviews and Genevieve Tudor recorded hours worth of interviews for her BBC Shropshire show. In addition to the Radio 3 and Radio 4 appearances earlier, and the Guardian feature I think that's a pretty good haul.

Sharp definitely did ignore African-Anerican singers, but only because his expressed aims were to find songs that had travelled over with settlers from Britain. In his diary he writes of his excitement at discovering versions of Child ballads by saying "found some of my lost children today" - he was making a direct link with songs he knew existed in England. Nonetheless he collected from a select few singers such as Maria Tomes and was at ease amongst the ex-slaves (freed only 50 years before) he met - quite progressive for his background and his time - he wasnt a rascist. His politics were firmly of the left, although he wasn't driven by political motives particularly. I get the impression of him as being a fanatical enthusiast driven by the work and the discovery itself rather than ideological reasons. He had flaws, but he was basically a good man working in tough conditions for little return within his lifetime.

It's a tough topic to write songs about, and it's hard to find the dramatic motives - a biopic of Sharp would be exceptionally dull, but some of the stuff in the show I'm particularly proud of. And even if it had failed on a songwriting level, a band featuring Andy Cutting playing box and Patsy Reid fiddle with Kathryn Roberts singing was going to be worth the trip whatever material they're playing.

And that's all I have to say about that...

Jim Moray


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 25 Mar 11 - 08:27 PM

The EFDSS has a forum / mailing list on Yahoo Groups. There has been no mention of this project on that - zero, zilch, sfa. I hope that this is more successful than that grossly over-budget programmable mechanical instrument contraption that they sponsored a year or so back. That has still yet to see the light of day.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: johnadams
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 07:41 AM

Point of order CJB....

The over-budget programmable mechanical instrument contraption was not sponsored by the EFDSS. As I remember it was sponsored by lottery funds and was selected via a London based media competition.

I would agree that it was a colossal waste of money and effort, but it wasn't EFDSS money.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 08:13 AM

Jim, thanks for that summation. If you're still reading this, can you tell us whether the project consists mostly of newly-written songs or whether there are many traditional examples from the Sharp collection. I ask because Jeff Davis and myself have been talking for a year or more about putting together a presentation of songs that Sharp collected in the Appalachians, if of course you guys haven't done that already.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Smedley
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 12:02 PM

Sounds like a fascinating idea - good to see a bit of risk-taking and originality.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 12:24 PM

If you're still reading this, can you tell us whether the project consists mostly of newly-written songs or whether there are many traditional examples from the Sharp collection.

Brian, the intention was that the songs should be newly-composed in the course of the week's residential. To quote the project website, www.CecilSharpProject.com,

On March 18th 2011, the eight artists gather together in Shropshire for a 7 day residential, with an artistic brief to create new works that have a 'resonance and relevance' to Cecil Sharp, and in particular his Appalachian travels and song collecting between 1915-1918.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 12:38 PM

Brian (and Jeff) - please go for it!!

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: GUEST,cardboard cutout
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM

There are some traditional songs collected by Sharp in the project, including a juxtaposition of the Somerset and Appalachian versions of the same song, from Jackie Oates and Caroline Herring


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 01:48 PM

If anyone doubts the importance or validity of Sharp's work, I refer them to the magnificent "English Folk Songs in the Southern Appalachians". (and if you don't have a copy, have a bit of patience---CAMSCO will be re-issuing it soon). Yes, he had a narrow view of what he was looking for---but what he did, he did brilliantly.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 02:29 PM

... and in the meantime, there's always the smaller but excellent selection in EFDSS's 'Good Companion'.

Becky - well, we might just do it...


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 08:22 AM

and if you can get to London this evening (Sunday) I would recommend you to go and see the show. i was there last night. Great singing and songs, with a bit of hilarity in the encore!
Tickets available on the door.
Brian - didn't you read the feature in the current English dance & Song? all was explained there (except they did include some of the trad songs!). Look forward to your Sharp in Appalachia show...
Derek Schofield


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 09:28 AM

Of course I read the article in your excellent publication, Derek, but wasn't sure from that what the proportion of original and traditional material would be. Do you have a track listing for the London performance?


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 09:30 AM

I'd say it was about 70% new stuff, 30% traditional.


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Subject: RE: EFDSS celebrate the 'Godfather of Folk'
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 10:03 AM

The Cecil Sharp Project performed an excellent session live on BBC Radio 3 In Tune last Friday

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zm53g


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